NCHSAA Announces 2021-2022 Pat Gainey Scholarship Recipients | Sports
CHAPEL HILL — The North Carolina High School Athletic Association recently announced the recipients of the 2021-2022 Pat Gainey Student Award, providing scholarships to two student-athletes with a focus on need-based applicants. This year’s winners are Carson Taylor from Swain County High School and Madison Austin from South Caldwell High School. Each recipient receives a $5,000 scholarship and a commemorative plaque.
Carson Taylor, Swain County High School
Carson Taylor is a senior at Swain County High School where he played football for four years, as well as baseball, basketball, and wrestling. He was recognized by several organizations in the preseason and in the playoffs for his athletic abilities. As a junior, he won the Heisman High School Scholarship. Its service projects include Smoky Service Days, the Desire to Lead Initiative, the Cherokee Children’s Home Golf Tournament, and the Cherokee Children’s Home Christmas Gift Drive. He plans to pursue a career in sports management at East Tennessee State University, Western Carolina University or the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. A thought from Carson – “To lead, you must first serve.”
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Madison Austin, South Caldwell High School
Madison Austin is a senior at South Caldwell High School where she played football for four years, ran cross country for two years and participated in the golf program for one year. She was named to the A or A/B honor roll in three of her four high school years. Madison was recognized for academic excellence in her freshman, sophomore, and junior year; and upon graduation will graduate with honors and receive the North Carolina Scholar Award. She has been a Beta Club member for four years and has been involved in several community projects throughout her high school career. Madison will attend one of five colleges she has been accepted to pursue a career in physical therapy. A thought from Madison – “I’ve created so many lifelong memories and values that I never would have otherwise, without playing sports. My teammates taught me the importance of understanding how to work together.
About the Pat Gainey Student Award
The Pat Gainey Student Prize is awarded annually by the NCHSAA through a private donation from Pat Gainey’s daughter, Berry Jo Gainey Shoen. The Gainey Student-Athlete Scholarship was established to recognize “athletic achievement and strength of character.” One scholarship is awarded annually to one senior female athlete and one senior male baseball player attending NCHSAA member high schools located in counties with limited financial resources.
Pat Gainey was a native of Dunn, NC and a phenomenal women’s basketball coach in several different practice stops during her career. His teams compiled an incredible 93-6 record during his tenure as women’s basketball coach at Pamlico, where he also fielded outstanding baseball teams. He then moved to Taylorsville where he coached from 1955 to 1964. His women’s basketball teams collectively won five Western North Carolina High School Activities Association titles and at one point recorded 54 straight wins and 140 wins consecutive conference. Her overall women’s basketball career rating was 358-57.
Under Gainey’s tutelage, Pamlico baseball teams won four Seashore Conference championships and compiled an overall record of 67-7, including 24 straight conference wins. Pat Gainey has always had a great knowledge of baseball and has spent the summer months scouting for professional baseball prospects. Pat was a scout for 18 years for the New York Giants and the Chicago White Sox.